|There are some great resources regarding preparing for a hurricane or other disasters:|
Stay Informed -- Prepare! -- Plan! -- Homeland Security -- American Red Cross -- ARC Store -- Weather Center.
HELPFUL HURRICANE HINTS
During the hurricane season, keep these phone numbers close at hand to find out local weather warnings and evacuation details:
Baldwin County EMA Bullentin Board (251) 947-1150
Orange Beach Info Line (251) 980-4636
Dick Carson, chairman of the Emergency Management Operations Committee for Ono Island, has written up a succinct list of do’s and don’ts in the event of a hurricane. Mr. Carson directed hurricane survival and recovery efforts during and immediately after Hurricane Ivan last September. His list is based on hard-earned lessons based on that experience.
As we do each year, a list of considerations is provided for your use:
Check Lists are important for completing necessary evacuation actions.
- When leaving the Island, secure the water and electrical services to piers and boathouses. This should be done routinely.
- Do not leave boats in boat lifts and in boat houses. Recall September 17, 2004 when we assessed the damage from Ivan and noted only a few boats in boat houses survived, and they were on protected canal properties. The Boat U.S. Marine Insurance report includes extraordinary damages to boats as they were blown off their cradles, the bunk boards broke, boats grinding against the lift motors and pilings, boats overcome with storm surge, boats filling with rainwater and collapsing lifts.
- Place hurricane shutters over your windows and doors. Plywood works.
- Remove damaged pier and boat house sections. Recent storms have moved old debris along the shores and caused more damage by ramming neighbor’s piers and boat houses.
- Remove dead trees and branches as they become “missile hazards” in high wind conditions.
- When a hurricane threatens, EVACUATE EARLY! We may have as much as 72 hours notice. Leave on receipt of notice. The roads jam quickly and normal transits out of the area become night mares on our evacuation routes.
- Place all valuables high in your house. We were lucky in Ivan with only 7.5 foot storm surge. Homes further inland experienced 13 to 14 foot storm surges. Note the current flooded areas from heavy rains, realizing these conditions will probably be much worse with hurricane rains.
- IF you decide to stay in your house after directed evacuation, remember NO WATER / NO SEWER / NO ELECTRICITY / NO TELEPHONES / NO EMERGENCY FIRE AND MEDICAL SERVICE / NO SECURITY SERVICE / PROBABLY NO LIFE INSURANCE. Provide names of those non-evacuees to the Ono Island Emergency Management Operations Committee (EMOC) which plans to operate from Ono House (251-980-5152).
- It is intended that all means of electronic communications available (EMAIL and WEB Site, and Ono House answering machine at 251-980-5152) will be used to keep everyone informed.
- If your sewer grinder pump is subject to flooding: before evacuating, manually pump it down then fill the tank to overflowing through the vent with a hose (keeps it from floating out of the ground) then plug the vent by wrapping it with duct tape or extend it with another length of PVC pipe to keep sand out of the tank. Finally, turn off the breaker to the pump. Remove the plug, etc. before restarting the pump.
When hurricane predictions indicate landfall anywhere near lower Alabama (w/in 100 to 300 miles, depending on storm’s size,evacuate no later than when the storm enters the Gulf. That may give you two days start over the thousands of visitors on Pleasure Island who wait until the last minute. Heed the lessons from the surprise FLOOD of 30 April 2014, probable flood pockets when the earth is saturated, and the probability of flooded roads.
- Have your hurricane evacuation decal for both vehicles.
- Keep your vehicles full of gasoline.
- Check your “we are out of here” item listing frequently to keep it current.
- When leaving, pump down then refill your sewer grinder with fresh water before turning it off. Duct tape the vent closed.
- Move boats from boat houses to high ground and secure then to mobile home “tie-down” screws.
- Turn off electricity and water to piers / boat houses.
- Hurricane window and door shutters mitigate damage from missile hazards and horizontal rain. Sand bags can reduce the damage from wave action.
- Evacuate early! Destinations should consider eventual land track predictions and action to avoid. Hurricanes typically curve to the north and east at landfall, indicating you should consider refuge to the west and north.
- Homeowner return after a hurricane area is usually problematic because of unsafe conditions. These include lack services such as water / electricity / police / fire and unsafe road / bridge conditions. Baldwin County EMA is the coordinator for our area, and locally City of Orange Beach EMA. Plans for passing information notifications to homeowners will be promulgated.
- Lastly, the animals that we seldom see will be as annoyed as you about the problem. Refuse on higher structures such as A/C compressors and porches is probable. Be careful, some are very poisonous.